What happened

Papa John's International (NASDAQ:PZZA) shareholders trailed a declining market in September as the stock fell 16% compared to the S&P 500's 3.9% drop, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

That slump only erased a portion of the stock's latest rally and returns remain well ahead of the broader market through early October.

Five young friends sharing a pizza.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

That 2020 rally set the stage for an underperforming share price in September, especially as the wider market declined. But investors also had a muted response to the pizza giant's latest sales update. Papa John's revealed on Sept. 29 that sales growth had continued to slow from its pandemic peak in recent weeks but remained comfortably in double-digit territory.

September marked six consecutive months of that elevated growth pace, CEO Rob Lynch said in a press release.

Now what

Papa John's investors will gain context on those expansion metrics when rival Domino's Pizza announces its fiscal third-quarter results on Oct. 8. The pizza delivery leader had appeared to cede market share in the early phases of the pandemic, but executives could announce a more determined competitive response in this next quarterly update.

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